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February 28, 2015

Our Puzzle Pieces Didn’t Fit…But God’s Did!

While we were still in the process of adopting our first son, Hudson, we knew we would adopt again.  After seeing the faces of the children left behind, we knew we had room in our hearts and home for more sons and daughters.  It wasn’t a matter of if we would adopt again, but rather, when.   As soon as the three of us returned home, we started looking for the right fit for our family in respect to agencies and countries.  We asked a lot of questions.  Some doors slammed shut.  Others remained tentatively opened.  About six months after we returned from Russia as a family of three, Ryan’s job was terminated due to finances.  Things were put on hold as we scrambled to make sense of this, and find a new way to provide for our family.  God answered our prayers by sending us across the country, where we … Continue reading

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February 25, 2015

Helping Others Understand Your Child’s Needs

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Do you have a child who has come from a hard place? Do you wish others who interact with your children better understood how to connect with them to help in their healing? Maybe you are frustrated with Sunday School teachers, babysitters, school teachers, parents of your child’s friends, or even some extended family because they just. don’t. get. it. And while we all know it’s not appropriate to fully disclose a child’s personal story to every person they will encounter, wouldn’t it be nice to make those in their daily or weekly routine aware of general issues and small ways they could make your child feel safe, pushing them towards success? From the insight and research taken some of the best books on this topic (The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, The Whole Brained Child by Dan Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson, and The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz), … Continue reading

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February 23, 2015

Welcoming More Children to Fundación Esperanza

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BOLIVIA UPDATE:Opening Our Doors to More Children Enjoy this update from Fundación Esperanza in Bolivia… “2015 is off to a great start for Fundación Esperanza (FE) in Bolivia. So far this year we’ve celebrated the opening of our transition home and we’ve welcomed 22 children from an orphanage that had to close its doors. As of February 2nd, FE now has 59 children under our care in 5 homes. Transition Home: We have welcomed 6 young ladies into the transition home who have “aged out” of other orphanages. The transition program exists to help young adults aging out of the orphanage environment to adapt to independent living while pursuing higher education or vocation. The program also exists to model and encourage responsibility based on faith in God as a firm foundation of life. Our goal is to create a secure environment where participants can study, learn life skills and grow … Continue reading

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February 20, 2015

We Chose to Trust God {Family Friday}

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In the spring of 2012, Tara and I responded to God’s Word in James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  I had great apprehension about a $45,000 adoption journey. Beyond the expense of much time, energy, and emotion, we chose to also trust God for the financial resources.  Besides, wealth is a value of the world whereas obedience and redemption have everlasting value.  While the journey stretched over two and a half years, a look back at specific occasions reveals God’s provision and blessing. Six months into the process, Tara and I were discussing the $5,000 payment due in order to proceed. We had already applied for many grants, and I became discouraged with the immense costs still ahead of us, so we prayed … Continue reading

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February 18, 2015

When Nester Caught the Vision…

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“When I graduated, I decided to donate a year to Plan Escalon in order to continue helping. And this experience [of giving back] has impacted my life a lot. ” — Nester, Honduras Graduate & Volunteer   Nester is just one of hundreds of students who have been given the opportunity to obtain an education at the Plan Escalon School in Honduras. An education that serves as a springboard, launching them into a hopeful future where cycles of poverty can be overcome and generations can be changed and empowered.  As Nester mentioned, for many there is little chance to obtain an education and direction for the future. Through their schooling and exposure to the Gospel of Christ at Plan Escalon, students like Nester have “caught the vision.” The vision of finding needs, meeting needs and changing a nation  On average, 25 students from each graduating class have caught this vision … Continue reading

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February 13, 2015

For Peter’s Sake {Family Friday}

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In Spring 2013, our family was complete.  We had six children, including adopting four children from China in four quick years.  Our house was full and busy!  So I (Shelly) made an effort to help advocate for children in China’s orphanages who still were in need of forever families. Especially older children.   One boy came into our path who was older and had a limb issue.  As an older boy with a limb difference, he had been waiting for a family. We were told very few had inquired about his information.  I began to post information about him to various adoption groups via social networking. We also found a US organization that had visited him in the past on a service trip and we gained more information on his personality, his medical need, and his life in the orphanage.   For six months I kept in communication with the … Continue reading

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February 9, 2015

Counter Culture {With Courage, Conviction & Compassion}

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If you are still compiling your 2015 reading list, please don’t miss David Platt’s brand new book, Counter Culture. As he shares on the Christian’s response to the social issues we are faced with today, including defending fatherless and orphaned children:  Everywhere we turn, battle lines are being drawn—traditional marriage vs. gay marriage, pro-life vs. pro-choice, personal freedom vs. governmental protection. And as difficult conversations about homosexuality, abortion, and religious liberty continue to inject themselves into our workplaces, our churches, our schools, and our homes, Christians everywhere are asking the same question: HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO RESPOND TO ALL THIS? In Counter Culture, New York Times bestselling author David Platt shows Christians how to actively take a stand on the most pressing social issues of our day. Drawing on compelling personal accounts from around the world, Platt presents an unapologetic yet winsome call for Christians to faithfully follow Christ … Continue reading

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